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19 Feb 2020

Joint UFI/SISO statement on the Coronavirus and the global exhibitions and events industry

Paris / Atlanta – February 19: Around the world, societies and businesses are dealing with the consequences of the current outbreak of COVID-19.  

Our sympathies lie with everyone dealing with symptoms of this new type of virus, and we wish them a speedy recovery. We are sorry for the loss in families where individuals have died from the virus.

At the same time, we are encouraged to see that ever more people are reportedly leaving hospitals in China again, having overcome the infection, and are leaving quarantine in China and elsewhere.

Health concerns have to come first in times like this, and successful health support is embedded into the functions of economies.

We are all well-advised to keep this fact in mind. As societies as well as businesses, we will overcome this outbreak more easily if we stay rational and focused.  

As leaders of the exhibitions and events industry, we strive to do just that.

This is why we support our colleagues in China, where venues are closed to contain the outbreak, in any suitable way we can.

And this is why we keep exhibitions and events going around the world, implementing advice from global health authorities like the World Health Organisation as well as the national and local authorities.  

Based on their assessments, canceling exhibitions in Europe, in the Americas, in the Middle East and in major parts of Asia is currently premature. Clear guidance is given on health measures before, during, and after events take place.

Cancelling exhibitions right now actually damages the path to recovery after this outbreak, and it inflicts additional harm: Exhibitions and events are essential to millions of businesses around the world. Taking them away will cause severe economic impacts to these customers and regions.  

It is every company’s decision whether or not they wish to exhibit at events right now, and we call on the organisers of events to be accommodating to companies who decide not to exhibit just now. But it is just as well every company’s decision to come to the show floor, to seek to meet with industry peers, to drive the exchange about how and to what degree their respective industries are impacted by COVID-19, and to secure the successful future for their businesses.

We stand with them, and with their communities. Jointly, we will overcome this outbreak. And then, we will do our part to support the exhibition industry in China and beyond as they bounce back from this difficult time.


About UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry: UFI is the global trade association of the world’s tradeshow organisers and exhibition centre operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry. UFI’s main goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry. UFI directly represents more than 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 60 national and regional association members. More than 800 member organisations in 89 countries around the world are presently signed up as members. Around 1,000 international trade fairs proudly bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors alike. UFI members continue to provide the international business community with a unique marketing media aimed at developing outstanding face-to-face business opportunities. For more information, please contact: UFI Headquarters,  

Tel: +33 (0)1 46 39 75 00  

About SISO - SISO members include companies, corporations and other for-profit entities that own, produce or provide full-service management of “face to face” trade shows, consumer shows, expositions, conferences and events.  SISO membership is a combination of large corporations and small entrepreneurial enterprises that do business around the world.  
SISO’s almost 200-member companies produce thousands of events around the world.SISO’s Mission, is to meet the common needs of our members, by providing peer networking opportunities, education, industry information, streamlined business processes and best practices in the industry. 

For more information, please visit:, or contact David Audrain,  SISO Executive Director, at +1-404-334-4585 or



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    Tony Calanca, Calanca & Associates LLC
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    Don Pazour, CEO, Access Intelligence
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    Howard Hauben, CEO, H2 Events
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    Joel A. Davis, Founder & CEO, JD Events
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